Jack Gerard: Need to Expand America's Energy Options

Jan 4, 2012

Expanding America's energy options was the theme of American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard's State of American Energy speech. In it, he laid out two benefits from increased American energy development: more jobs and improved state economies.

The facts laid out in the State of American Energy speech complemented the recommendations the Chamber's Energy Institute has been making since its inception in 2007. By advocating for projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and fighting the Blackout Rule to improve America's energy security the speech delivered a solid message on the importance of taking advantage what America has in her backyard.

Gerard pointed out that because of technological advances "We have more oil and natural gas than anyone thought possible even 20 years ago," and if you consider oil and natural gas — as well as our other fossil fuel: coal — the United States has the largest energy resources in the world."

Developing those energy sources is a ready-made job creator. By expanding access to domestic oil and gas currently off-limits on federal lands, Gerard said, it "would mean an additional 1.4 million jobs by 2030, with one million of those jobs created in just seven years." That's on top of the 9.2 million jobs American oil and natural gas companies already support.

North Dakota and Pennsylvania stand out as stars of expanded energy production. Gerard said, the "average oil and gas salary in North Dakota is more than $90,000 a year – more than double the state average," and "shale gas development generated more than 90,000 jobs between 2009 and 2011" in Pennsylvania.

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